April 8, 2013

First Impression: Momofuku Noodle bar

So I finally bit the bullet and went to Momofuku. Why did I take so long? Because the reviews for the opening were crushing, from slow service to salty broths - everyone had something not so nice to say. I thought I'd give them a few months to adjust, get the staff trained and then I'd head on over, just when they were perfect and ready for me. 

Some of you might be wondering why this is such a big deal. Well, let me tell you, David Chang - the chef behind Momofuku and a handful of other highly successful restaurants can easily be considered a genius when it comes to anything delicious. But don't take my word for it, just check out how man James Beard awards and nominations he's received. He's been influencing the food scene for years and his restaurants in Toronto were highly anticipated. His other restaurants Shōtō and Daishō just made the top three of "Toronto's top 10 New Restaurants" according to Toronto Life.
Luckily there wasn't a wait when we arrived and we were seated right away. Heads up to all the shorties out there, the benches are very very tall and super heavy. I had to practically jump off to reach the floor!

My friend Glenn and I ordered the pork belly buns ($10),  Shiitake Buns ($10), Momofuku Ramen - pork belly & shoulder, fish cake + egg and the Dan Dan Mein - spicy pork, dried scallops + peanuts. The ramen bowls ranged from fourteen to sixteen dollars each.

The buns were absolutely delicious, rightfully so since they're David Chang's signature dish. The pork belly was tender and not too fatty but they could have a better colour - grey and beige meats are never appealing. For $10 I was expecting a larger bun but I still enjoyed it.
Glenn ordered the Momofuku ramen and absolutely loved it! He finished the whole bowl in minutes. My Dan Dan Mein was good but because it was super super salty I couldn't finish the bowl. The noodles were cooked perfectly and I loved the little bits of pork, its just unfortunate that the broth was way too salty.  It tasted like they'd let the broth simmer for too long on the stove and it just got way too concentrated. Glenn also commented how his broth was salty as well. It's unfortunate because for a bowl of noodles averaging fifteen bucks - I expected a lot more!
After we finished our noodle bowls, Glenn wanted to try something else so we ordered the shiitake buns. This would be a great vegetarian option. The shiitake mushrooms were meaty, juicy and very flavourful!
So there you have it, my thoughts on Momofuku. A little disappointed but not completely heart broken. I've heard some amazing things about his other restaurants in Toronto (all located in the Shangri-La) and I'll definitely make a point to visit those in the near future. 


Momofuku Noodle Bar
190 University Ave
Toronto, On
www.momofuku.com
Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon


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